Sunday, April 29, 2007

Weekend Herb Blogging #80

Glenna from A Fridge Full of Food is our host for this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging.

This week I'm following on from last week and having a closer look at Capsicums or Bell Peppers

capsicum

Capsicums are a good source of Vitamin B9 and also contain Vitamins A, B1, B3, B6, C and K along with Iron and Manganese. Other benefits are associated with their particular colouring.

Green Capsicums contain lutein and zeaxanthin which help age-related eye problems, Orange Capsicums contain beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin which help reduce the risk of developing emphysema and lung cancer while Red Capsicums contain lycopene and beta-cryptoxane. Lycopene helps to reduce the chance of developing prostrate cancer as well as cervical, bladder and pancreatic cancers.

With the much anticipated and needed rain starting to fall I've decided to make a dish that is an autumn favourite in our house, the wonderfully flavoursome Peperonata.

Peperonata is basically a dish of stewed capsicums - slow cooked with onions and tomatoes, their innate sweetness concentrating over the long cooking time. It is one of the dishes I started to learn to make as a child, it's actually a great dish to make with your children as you don't have to be too pedantic over the slicing, a certain unevenness is actually preferred as it results in differing textures. I'd also add that the more variety in capsicum colours the better though for this batch I made even my green capsicums were predominately red.

Serve it hot as a side dish to just about any meat or if you have any leftovers, it's just delicious cold in a sandwich or as a filling to an omelette.



Peperonata

3 medium red onions, sliced finely
1 kg assorted capsicums, cored and sliced lengthways
1 kg ripe roma tomatoes, cut into chunks (you can substitute Italian canned tomatoes)
freshly ground salt and black pepper

Heat a little olive oil and a knob of butter into a deep pan and when the butter has melted and started to sizzle add the onions.

Cook until they soften and are just starting to colour then add the sliced capsicums. Stir this well and continue to cook until the capsicums start to wilt then add the chopped tomatoes along with the salt and pepper. You might need to add a little water as you want the mix to be fairly wet - don't worry it will evaporate but the end.

Let this cook in a gentle simmer for about 2 hours. If you find it's too liquid then just increase the heat and let it boil off, but be careful as to not burn the peperonata.

peperonta

One of my favourite ways to enjoy this dish is quite simple - served over buttered rice with a generous sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano it's some of the best comfort food you can have on those cold rainy days.

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12 comments:

  1. That is possibly the SEXIEST picture of a capsicum/bell pepper that I have ever seen. Ever. Awesome work there! And the peperonata...well, lets just say that I wish I had more than just one capsicum in my fridge!

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  2. Gorgeous! Love the recipe and the fact that you've been making it since childhood. Wonderful story.

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  3. Thanks Ellie - that pepper was particularly attractive in it's colouring and shape, it almost looks painted - it certainly was a shame to eat it!

    Thanks Glenna - I've lost count on how many times I would have made this but it's delicious so it keeps getting made!

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  4. Oh my, it looks just wonderful. I'm working on my garden this weekend, and last year I forgot to plant peppers, so this year I got four plants which are going in the ground today!

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  5. i love your bowl :) though the peperonata is looking very delicious indeed...

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  6. That looks delicious! I made pasta with bell pepper and onions last night...but I wish I'd kept cooking it long enough to have made this!

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  7. How gorgeous, I'll be trying this as soon as the tomatos and peppers are in season here. Thanks Haalo!

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  8. What a picture!! And amazing recipe, makes me want a bite instantly. And yes a perfect dish to do with my daugther next time. :)

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  9. Thanks Kalyn - hopefully you'll get a bumper crop this year!

    Thanks Eliza - the bowl really sits nicely in the hand too!

    Thanks Christianne - this is excellent with pasta too!

    Thanks Sara - hope you enjoy it when the season arrives.

    Thanks Helene - cooking with your children besides being a great bonding experience gives them a skill they will appreciate forever.

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  10. Haalo, I'd love some of that over crusty bread or ciabatta - it would be so delicious, my friend!

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  11. Patricia - make sure you make enough for me since I just love it served that way!

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  12. Hola!
    He entrado por casualidad a tu blog y me ha encantado.
    Que cantidad de recetas tienes es impresionante.
    Te voy a poner en mi blog si te parece bien.
    Un abrazo desde España.
    Margot

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